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Grouse Knowl Fold


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As those who were at the Penrith show will have seen Ive recently started a new diorama. My main aim is to achieve a model railway standard of realism over an entire diorama. The plan is a hill farm of largely and some pedigree beef cattle. I currently have ideas that will easily spread out over a 12x4ft area. For now though I have focused on a handling yard, unhappy with the last two attempts I've made at them. 

I will try to explain the process in making most of the bits and pieces, as I was rushing to finish this part for the show I didn't take step by step photos of each process but those that I've missed will be repeated in other areas of the farm and guides made then.

For now here is the handling yard, right in the swing of summer as shearing takes place.







Edited by Stabliofarmer
Decided on the farm name as 'Grouse Knowl Fold'
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Thanks for the feedback guys appreciated.

So heres how the walls were done

My first attempt used Bromley Crafts Realistic Brick compound https://www.craft-products.com/realistic-brick-compound.php. The wall structure was made from mountboard and glued to the base. Originally the walls where painted a light grey but after seeing timms work on the forum using a much darker background I opted for painting the walls black. Work started with the gate posts.




The edges of each gateway where masked off and a layer of brick compound applied, masking tape removed, allowed to set and a layer of matt varnish applied to lock it in place. Before adding the varnish any stray blobs or irregularities can be removed with sandpaper or a scalpel.

Next the main stone work was applied. The rough stone stencil provided by Bromley just doesn't reflect the stone shape common to my local area so I set about making my own stencil. I drew out a stone pattern on paper then using a sheet of, I think 190 micron thick, Mylar layed over the paper pattern I cut out the shapes in the mylar with a craft knife.


The top of the wall was masked off for the capping stones and the compound applied in a rough uneven layer. (There are various youtube videos depicting how to use the realistic brick compound as well as a guide in my old Torrax Farm topic)



Finally the capping stones where done by using millimeter wide masking tape layed approximately 1 mil appart and a layer of brick compound applied


I eventually came to the decision that the results where not up to the realism standard I was aiming for and subsequently I scrapped these walls and started again. I still maintain that the compund is probably the fastest realistic method to creating stone walling at an affordable price. I just knew I could get more life like.

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So I was back to square one. My first thought was to revert to a method Ive used previously which involved carving stone workeffect into DAS modelling clay. For a bit of inspiration I set off to browse Iain Robinsons blog, a bible for modelmaking, to sadly see he had taken it down because of various nit picky model railway stuff. The last I had seen Robinson was looking at using Foamex for carving walls and from here I set about searching the internet for scraps of info. (Later on in this project I willam be using Foamex to make the farmhouse which I have started and I think there are some pics in the whats on you're work bench topic.) 

I eventually found the rather artsy David Neat, describing himself as a 'maker and teacher of making'. Within his website he shows another material for modelling walls, similar to Foamex, Kapa Line Foam board. https://davidneat.wordpress.com/materials/surfacing/kapa-line-foamboard/

The material looked perfect and I ordered some 5mm board from 4D  http://modelshop.co.uk/Shop/Raw-Materials/Foamboard/Item/Foamboard-KAPA-line-white/ITM4981

Now heres the method I used. I cut the board to the height I wanted the walls to be without the capping stones. Then peeled the paper backing off.

To get stone pattern right I took a ride out onto the moors taking snaps of various bits of stone wall.



I then drew out a suitable pattern in pencil on the board.


Using a pointed craft tool I then carved out the stone work. I found for smaller bits the line had to be cut with a blade before passing over with the point or the material would just rip. The board is much easier to carve than clay meaning longer periods of time could be spent on carving making this process a faster one. The properties of this board mean that by pressing in individual stones the uneven nature of drystone walling could be replicated.





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In the next photos ignore the paint, this was me experimenting with the best paint method. I will explain painting later.

The two wall pieces where glued back to back with a five millimetre strip of mountboard stuck at the bottom to make the bottom wider than the top like a realtrue wall. Gate posts where made using 5mm Foamex. Cut to size and glued back to back it was roughed up using 80 grit sand paper to back to give a cut stone look. These where glued to the end of each wall section.


Capping stones where next. These where made of mount board. Lengths where cut the width of the wall and individual stones cut at various lengths from these strips. All cutting was done using a pair of tin snips as this gave a nice rough cut that better resembled stone than a perfect straight cut from a knife.


First layer was layed horizontally.


And then the rest where stacked together glued in place with UHU adhesive.


The other part to mention is corners. I had a look at how corners where in real life.


And from here replicated in miniature. A mitre joint on the end of the board meant seamless transistion from each side. The rock holding the capping stones was made in thethe same way as the gate posts.






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The last step was paint. A base layer of Acrylic 'Naples Yellow' was applied. This quite nicley matches the colour of local fresh cut sand stone. Once well dryed a watered down wash of black poster paint was applied, this highlights all the nooks and cranies and defines the individual stones, as well as dulling down the yellow. A layer of matt varnish was applied to fix it in place. Next various brown and green shades of acrylic where dry brushed onto the wall until it was dulled down to colour similar to my reference pics. More greens where added to one side of most walls to highlight where moss would be growing more as the sun reached areas of wall but not others. A final layer of varnish fixed everything in place and helps protect the board from warping with damp. That brings how the walls where done to a close.

Any queries don't hesitate to ask!

Edited by Stabliofarmer
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very nice james, looking forward to the next step, just a thought,rather than using white grout powder, and havng to repaint over on e dry, what about using a grey coloured grout powder, you can get a fair few different colours now, may save you some time/work with luck 

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